15 Oct 2013

'Too early' to gauge effect of new mortgage rules

8:00 am on 15 October 2013

The chief executive of the real-estate company Harcourts, Hayden Duncan, says it is far too early to tell whether new Reserve Bank lending rules are having any effect on first-home buyers.

Under the stricter rules, which came into force on 1 October, no more than 10% of a bank's mortgage lending can be to people with home deposits of less than 20%.

41% of agents questioned in a BNZ-Real Estate Institute survey say they are seeing fewer first-home buyers, compared with 24% who saw more first-home buyers in September.

Mr Duncan says it is a bit early to tell what the effect of the loan-to-value ratios really is.

He says he believes potential buyers with low deposits will find other ways to get finance, so any drop-off in demand will only be temporary.